I ask you, “Starbucks why are you still here in Australia?”
I recently read an article online about a series of Starbucks stores being sold to a company who was going to keep trading under the Starbucks name — what the hell?
“Last month Starbucks confirmed the sale of its 24 remaining stores in Australia to The Withers Group, which owns 600 7-Eleven outlets across the country.” (Eatability article >>)
Article above is from Eatability.com on 18th June 2014.
I never did understand why Starbucks thought they could crack the Australian coffee market — after all, their American coffee tastes nothing like the REAL coffee we Australians are used to. We’ve been brought up with the best Italian coffee (yes and also Greek coffee) — but it’s the Italian coffee we love the most, I’d even go so far as to say it’s our “national drink” :-)
I’ve lived in the States (California) on and off for many years, and have tried many of their coffee franchises, but would politely smile when friends asked me how ‘great’ it was.
A couple of months ago I was visiting friends in Los Angeles and felt it my duty to check out some of the local cafés. (You can read about Peet’s cafe where I had to order a ‘triple shot’ to get anything tasting almost like a real Australian latte.)
What I discovered was that the AMOUNT of coffee called a ‘shot’ is SO SMALL compared to what’s served in coffee shops and cafés in Sydney and Melbourne, that a triple shot only covers about half an inch in the bottom of a take-away (take out) paper cup.
Out of about 10 cafes I visited, I did however find ONE café where they knew what coffee was supposed to taste like (Cafe Laurent – check out my video!) – yay!
So getting back to Starbucks — it doesn’t surprise me at all that they didn’t last in Australia, and I’m still having a problem working out why they hung in there so long. It’ll be interesting to see whether the new owners turn the remaining 24 Starbucks into Aussie-style coffee or stick with the Starbucks branded coffee — whatever they do, if they make their espresso coffee taste like what our tastebuds are used to here in Australia, they might have a chance of surviving.